Bringing our community together to increase awareness and provide access to resources with compassion and dignity.
In March we hosted Vicki from the Chestermere Regional Food Bank for our Awakening Passions project. Vicki has been involved in the Awakening Passions project from our first year!
Vicki started by asking us if we knew what a food bank is. Some of us had heard of the food bank, but were unclear on what they do in Chestermere. Vicki explained that Food Banks were started in the 1980s when there were people having difficulty having enough money and food to feed their families. The Chestermere Regional Food Bank started 12 years ago. Vicki said that the Food Bank gives food to people who need it and they take donations to give to people. They help people in emergency situations who need food.
Vicki asked us if we knew of any food items that the food bank gives to families. We thought of the following: soup, taco meal kits, cereal, burger toppings, fruit cups, granola bars, peanut butter, jam, tuna, crackers, toothbrushes, soap, diapers, wipes, toothpaste, shampoo, house cleaning supplies; basically foods that are non-perishable and other household items. It’s not that they won’t take fresh foods, but they can’t keep them for as long and don’t like to waste food!
There are 40 volunteers who help the Chestermere Regional Food Bank make sure that people have food they need. They help to pick up the food that is donated by different people and groups, including Prairie Waters and many other schools in Chestermere. Donations are also accepted year-round in their bins located at Safeway, No Frills, City Hall, Chestermere Rec Centre, and other locations. Volunteers also help to make sure the food is organized at the Food Bank and help to prepare and deliver hampers to people. There are about 40 families who access the Chestermere Regional Food Bank each month. This had grown from 10 families a month only a few years ago! At Christmas, this number can be as high as 55 families who receive a Christmas hamper.
We wanted to know what kinds of action we could take so Vicki explained the different ways to help out.
- Donating Items – donating food items, toiletry and house cleaning items helps out
- Donating Money – donating money helps the food bank purchase items that they might not have enough of at the time as well as other items.
- Volunteer – by donating your time to the Chestermere Regional Food Bank, you are helping a lot of people!
- Awareness – by spreading the word about the Chestermere Regional Food Bank, you can help in two ways; you let people know where they can make donations of food, time and money; you let people who may need help, where they can go to get it. Vicki asked us to spread awareness over the weekend after her visit to us. We told our families and friends about the food bank!
Our Challenge: To wear our sticker with the Chestermere Regional Food Bank logo on it. Then we were asked to pass on the information we had learned and give the person we told a sticker for themselves and an extra sticker for them to pass on when they told another person.
Gavin and Lexie took a trip to the food bank where Vicki gave them a tour and they talked about what some items might be needed right away. They decided that during the Awakening Passions celebration, they would collect hamburger and hot dog condiments to donate. They had a lot of donations!
Thank you Vicki for coming and sharing your passion for helping others by volunteering at the Chestermere Food Bank! We learned a lot about how to take action to help others.
You can find out more about the Chestermere Regional Food Bank by visiting the links below.